Port of Vancouver - gateway for cruises to Alaska
The Port of Vancouver's 2017st consecutive cruise season ended in mid-December 31 with the departure of the Star Princess. A total of 236 ships called at the port and nearly 843.000 passengers embarked or disembarked. Most of the passengers visited the city on the Pacific Ocean to embark on or complete a cruise to Alaska.
Star Princess leaves Vancouver's port
Vancouver - Facts & Figures
Vancouver is still a relatively young city. According to scientific findings, the region was already inhabited by people more than 4.000 years ago; but it was not until 1792 that the naval officer George Vancouver explored the area on the Fraser River on behalf of the English crown.
After that, another 70 years passed before the first settlement emerged in the region in connection with the Fraser Canyon gold rush of the 1860s. Initially it only grew slowly; In 1900 there were only 26.000 people living in what is now the city. The 100.000 mark was reached in 1911. The population is currently estimated at more than 630.000, and a total of around 2,5 million people live in the metropolitan region.
Marine Building in Vancouver's Financial District
The attractive port city is located on Canada's west coast in the province of British Columbia. In the east, a coastal promontory with three high mountains forms a natural barrier. Compared to the rest of Canada, Vancouver has an extremely mild microclimate due to a warm ocean current.
From a Canadian perspective and in a global comparison, Vancouver is considered the most livable city. Those residents who have a roof over their heads and a steady, well-paid job may see it that way. Disadvantaged people complain about the high proportion of foreigners; 47 percent of the population belong to so-called visible minorities. Among them, Chinese in particular make up the largest non-Caucasian population group at just under 30 percent. The social problems of Vancouver are also noticeable: several thousand people live under porches or in house entrances on the street.
The city, built around a natural harbor, lives mainly from trade and from Canada's most important port, the second largest on the west coast of North America. Well-known forestry and mining companies also have their headquarters in the region. Vancouver is an important financial center and also - it is hard to believe - the third most important location for the North American film and TV industry.
The Financial District as seen from the Vancouver Lookout
The conditions for high-tech and software companies are ideal. And last, but not least, the tourism sector is enjoying steadily increasing demand. Vancouver hosted the World Expo 86 and the 2010 Winter Olympics, and cruise tourism to and from Alaska is growing steadily.
Vancouver's cultural life
The university city of Vancouver has a rich cultural life. In addition to a powerful theater, an opera house and a symphony orchestra, there are several museums and galleries. The most important museum is the Vancouver Art Gallery, the largest art museum in Western Canada. Other important museums are the Museum of Anthropology or the Vancouver Maritime Museum.
Vancouver - A-maze-ing Laughter in Morton Park
Rock, folk and pop festivals are held regularly. But also fireworks competitions, dragon boat races and other things find many spectators every year.
Vancouver as a tourist magnet
Modern buildings shape the cityscape. Canada Place stands for the contemporary architecture. The spacious building with a characteristic, sail-like roof was the former Canadian pavilion of the Expo 86. Today the cruise ships dock at Canada Place.
Canada Place - Cruise Ship Terminal
Tourist magnets are the districts of Gastown, the actual nucleus of the city, and Granville Island with the Public Market. The Financial District is also well worth seeing. There are striking structures such as the Sun Tower, the Marine Building or the Fairmont Hotel.
More recently, the Vancouver Lookout, the Living Shangri-La, at 201 meters, the tallest building in Vancouver, and the Trump Tower, the second tallest building in the city.
The Living Shangri-La - Vancouver's tallest building
Vancouver is surrounded by remarkably beautiful nature. Stanley Park is a scenic highlight in the middle of the city. The more than 400 hectare rainforest area offers everything a nature lover would like.
Original totem poles in Stanley Park
Under Vancouver attractions let's introduce some of the sights in more detail.
Update April 2021